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How Artists Can Benefit from Becoming a Social Influencer – Part One


Trust gives the social influencer authority; it is the foundation of their effectiveness.

— Barney Davey

Driving interest for your art as a social influencer using nano-influencing is easier and more fun than fishing buyers from cold traffic or hoping your gallery knows what they are doing and has your back. Translation: Although social influencing requires patience, confidence, and persistence, so does every form of effective art marketing. For artist social influencers, the potential reward is outstanding.

The work of a social influencer is challenging and rewarding on its merit as you are serving an audience who will appreciate your efforts. Some will buy your art because of learning you are an artist, and others will refer you frequently, and a few will do both. Fortunately, it doesn’t take many such results to make your efforts pay off handsomely.

Social influencers use technology to amplify their impact. If you want to get noticed, you must be seen. To be considered influential, you must practice being influential. If you are concerned you can’t do this, please stick with me because it’s not that hard.

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Social Influencers Are Not New

Influence is not new. People have been influencing each other since time immemorial. Think about how much we learn from our parents, grandparents, siblings, friends, teachers, coaches, mentors, bosses, colleagues, and so forth. We are influenced by them others every single day.

I am a long-time proponent of using influence to connect with others who will buy your art or advance your career. Years before social influencer was a common term, I wrote about the Benefits of Slight Celebrity. Essentially, you have people around you, and you already use your knowledge and experience to make an impact on them. Social media and influencing are the same things with better tools and organization to make doing the job easier.

You Are Beyond Art and Can Command the Facts

You are more than an artist. As such, in other aspects of your life, you may make a mark as a nano-influencer and sell your art as a byproduct of the good you do and the connections you make. It’s a marketing angle like getting into galleries or digital marketing. If you have a penchant for this influencer concept, it will work well for you.

As an influencer, you have endless possibilities. And you don’t need decades of experience or advanced degrees to acquire and share knowledge about a topic you love. Pick virtually any subject, and you will find a wealth of information at your fingertips. The internet provides the answers and expertise you need to become an influencer.

Social Influencers Are Made Not Born

Search a topic on growing roses, caring for older pets, building a wine collection, bartering artwork, or thousands of other areas of interest. I recommend you carefully study and comprehend the essential information and the value bombs loaded within the first organic 20 – 30 search engine results. By doing so, you will know more about the subject than 99% of those on the planet. That’s an important reference point to start. Find your interest and voice, and then you can own the topic.

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Influencers attract followers with various combinations of the EDIE acronym. 1) Entertainment, 2) Demonstration, 3) Information, and 4) Education. Savvy influencers always include at least two if not all options in their communications. It keeps their tribes coming back.

How Do I Become a Social Influencer?

Find the platform where there is much interest for your focus—research how others manage their messages and marketing. Use the intel to inform your plans and guide your decision-making. Your research will improve your start-up efficiency.

Find the good and discard the bad stuff, then add your distinctive touch. Please keep it simple as possible. Decide and go for it if you are feeling it. Regardless, I encourage you to do your best to keep up with it because of what social influencing can do for you.

Art Sales Will Happen from Your Social Influencer Efforts

If you have experience selling art, you have had this happen. A buyer found you through a social connection or unsolicited referral. How good did it feel to have a no-hassle sale from an enthusiastic buyer drop in your lap? Unexpected sales are the goal of my suggestion for you to become a nano-influencer.

Your influence may not – and doesn’t need to – relate to the art you make. If it does, that’s a bonus. For example, if you are an equestrian and paint horses, begin using blogging, vlogging, or a social platform to grow a following based on your knowledge and passion for promoting saving the wild horses or providing behind-the-scenes looks at the local spots where horse lovers congregate.

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Learn about art-related Careers.

However, it’s just as likely you paint abstracts but influence and write about cooking, wine, or antiques. It’s not that exact cozy fit as when your influence overlaps the subject matter of your art, but it will still work. Stay aware of the demographics of your tribe, steer your efforts toward forming groups with members who have the means to can afford to buy your originals.

Choose Your Spot and Stick to It

You can have a voice in politics, religion, sports, business, family togetherness, travel, finances, and more. And those are the broad categories. A nano-influencer only needs a tiny sliver of interest from any of them to make a dent.

Social influence is not perfect because randomness and time factor into the equation. That is, you can’t predict when an apple will fall from the tree. It’s random because you may not know who among your tribe is on the verge of becoming a buyer or evangelist. Time is imperfect because even when buyers love your work and can afford your prices, they may not perceive an immediate need to purchase your artwork now.

Selling Luxury Takes Time and Repeat Exposure

Like nearly all luxury items, getting sales takes repeated exposure to progress through the continuum of awareness, interest, desire, and action. When comparing social influence to selling through a gallery, you will find time and randomness in play. And likewise, with digital marketing, although getting buyers into an automated sales sequence is not random, it still takes time to convert interest into action – particularly in art sales.

Digital marketing is a lot of work, just like social influencing, but significant differences exist. Social influence has more potential to become viral. Virality is random but inevitable when you stimulate a tribe with care and consistency. And I find social influencing is fun to do and rewarding beyond making sales. I don’t get those sensations with digital marketing.

Getting Qualified Buyers Is the Why of Social Influencing for Artists

Things are faster now than ever. Billionaires are flying rockets in the ultimate one-upmanship. Change is good and bad depending on the day and how things are going. That said, certain items such as selling original art are relatively static. So, for example, you still need an interested buyer with sufficient financial assets to afford your work and who is also ready to buy.

What’s different now is that it’s easier than ever to connect with buyers and other influencers, thanks to the internet and social media. As a result, the world has become smaller and more connected from our social media accounts to communicate.

Did you know the average person spends over two hours per day on their phone? For this reason, influencers are becoming increasingly valuable to brands and marketers. Millions of people follow them on Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, TikTok, etc. And on our end of the scale, we’re looking for a few hundred devoted fans.         

What Does It Take to Become a Social Influencer?

To gain influence, you need to understand what makes someone influential. You can learn from those who have been successful in the past, but ultimately, you need to figure out your formula for success. As with all creative endeavors, it will take experience, trial, and error to dial in your methods and effectiveness.

First, you need to define what being an influencer means to you. What can you do to have a unique take and stand out? That is the first step toward building relationships with others who share similar goals and interests.

(I want to save wild horses because… I love growing edible indoor plants because… I’m here to stand up for… because…)

Second, it’s critical to find a topic that spurs your passions and interests. Becoming a social influencer can change your life and your art business significantly. The extent of the change you experience is relative to the work and enthusiasm put into your project. It can cause you or a fan to pivot in a way that lights a path to an unexpected but wholly welcome outcome.

Finally, consider these options to get started as a social influencer:

  • Find communities online where you can discuss topics related to your passions.
  • Read and review posts of popular influencers in your niche.
  • Join groups on LinkedIn, Facebook, Reddit, or other online or offline groups where you can connect with others.
  • Don’t worry about crowded fields. That’s a good thing, and there is always room for more excellent content.

You can read How Artists Can Benefit from Becoming a Social Influencer – Part Two here. You are also welcome to subscribe to get timely notices of new posts and to receive bonus art marketing tools, tips, and techniques.

The Guide to Art-related Careers
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  1. Thanks for the great advice. I'm working on a project titled Art Saves Our Planet. It is in tended to go viral, and will hopefully get millions involved in creating visual, written and musical works related to the problems facing our planet and encouraging everyone to partake in actions that will go toward saving planet earth from destruction.

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